Monday, September 29, 2014

A lifetime of sexual intimacy

     In my last post (which you can read here), I talked about how one’s spouse can provide the best instructions for how he/she can best be pleased sexually, and if you want good sex, you need to take the time to follow the directions.  But just because a couple is having good sex physically, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are building a fulfilling, God-honoring, sexual intimacy.  It’s certainly a good first step, but along with communication, listening, and seeing your sex life as something holy (see the previous post for more on this), here are some critical steps to putting together a lifetime of sexual intimacy that will bless you and your spouse:

  • Know the biology—While knowing about biology is not wholly the same as knowing about sexual intimacy, it certainly is an important ingredient.  Where did you learn about male and female sexuality?  From your parents?  Peers?  The media?  Was your source reliable?  Do you really understand what causes arousal?  Physical connection?  Emotional connection?  And not just what causes these things in general, but specifically with your lover?
  • Communicate— I said it in the last post, but it needs to be said again.  It’s okay to talk about sex.  In fact, you and your mate need to talk about sex because what brings pleasure to one person might not to another.  Never forget, God created us all to be unique.  Nothing can give your mate better information on how to connect with you sexually than you can.  But also, talk about more than sex so that you can…
  • …build up other areas of intimacy too—Physical intimacy is an important part of connecting with your spouse.  But so are emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, social intimacy, and spiritual intimacy.  It’s hard to want to be with someone physically who treats you as if your stupid, or doesn’t care about your feelings, or you view of the world, or someone who makes you feel guilty or worthless before God, or who doesn’t want to be a part of your world.  Building and nurturing intimacy in other areas allows sexual intimacy to take on a whole new meaning.
  • Expect changes to occur—What you enjoyed as a newlywed will probably be very different from what you will enjoy as a senior citizen.  How you make love post-children can be different than how you made love before children.  Body changes, physical demands and physical health, time constraints, age—so many things factor into how a couple shares sexual intimacy.  And sometimes the changes are permanent, while other times the changes are just for a season.  If your sex life is just the physical act, your marriage will suffer when changes occur.  If you build sexual intimacy rather than just having sex, the relationship will be more important than any single act, and quality will supersede quantity.
  • Keep it private—God created sex, and sex is good, but it is a wonderful, mysterious relationship meant to be enjoyed between a man and a woman alone.  We live in a sex-saturated society, and there are outside influences constantly trying to pry into your sex life.  Whether it’s through media, pornography, flirting, overly inquisitive friends—and whether those influences are let in intentionally or inadvertently—an intrusive presence can destroy a husband and wife’s lifelong sexual intimacy.
  • If you’ve put it together wrong, start the process of rebuilding—No one wants to admit they don’t know how to relate to their mate sexually, or their sex life may not be what it could be.  But because too many couples started building their sexual life from the wrong foundation (or wrong information), didn’t communicated often and fully, didn’t invest in other aspects of intimacy, and didn’t anticipate and adapt to changes in their relationship, the sexual relationship has suffered. It’s never too late to move from settling for what you have to together creating something better.

     Obviously, no two couples are building the exact same relationship, and how you and your spouse build a lasting sexual intimacy should be unique to you.  It is easy to think other couples have it better than you and your spouse, or to live in fantasy worlds influenced by the media.  But, if you talk, listen, follow the directions, and see sex as a holy, gift from God, you can build a lifetime of great sexual intimacy.

Looking for a fun, practical, Biblically-based, couples' study that can be used with individual couples, in small groups, or in a Bible class?  Check out Marriage: A Blessed Promise.  It's less than four bucks and available now from 21st Century Christian.  Order online here.

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